Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Our School Schedule this Fall

Well, we finally did it.
  With the pig in the freezer,  most of the canning done, a winter wood pile of good size,
 and nasty weather upon us, we started our fall school schedule.  

I have always found it interesting and inspiring to find out how other families organize their school day, 
so I thought it may be of interest to share with you how things are going in our neck of the woods.

The first day went fairly well, 
so that is a good sign to me that this year's more creative schedule is going to work. 
 This is possibly the first year I have ever planned a huge break in the middle of the day,
 but after our first day, I think it was a positively Providential idea.  
With children 14, 12, 9, 7, 4 and 2 involved,
 (Rose is graduated, working part time as well as involved in ministry, 
so she is not home a lot, therefore, I did not count her) 
here is how it worked:
7am wake up! > Coffee, tea, snuggles and chatting.
7:30 dress and chores > Rose: milk goats. Joe: feed and water outside animals, bring in firewood. Jim: Breakfast. Ben: fold and put away laundry. Bethany: tidy her room and living room.  Mama: read to littles.
8ish Breakfast > Jim is the breakfast cook. Daddy reads our Bible chapter for the day at table.

8:30-9:30 Math > Joe, Jim, Ben and Bethany. (We are using Life of Fred.)
I put Jim (aka Extra Energy Boy) on the Pilates ball at the table, so he can bounce away while he works.
Gabe and Olivia are at the table with us.  Today they did pattern blocks and puzzles first.  Olivia played "Family" with a dinosaur for a daddy,  a tiger for a mama, and five horses for children.   So, umm, I don't know what that means.
9:30-10:30 Grammar/Phonics > Joe grammar, Jim Spanish, then switch at 10 am.  Ben phonics, Bethany copy work, then switch at 10 am.  Gabe and Olivia played at the table stringing beads.
I bought a small tub of animal beads at Micheals for a very reasonable price.  They were thrilled with them.

10:30-11:30 Science > Today we just got materials and journals organized.  Joe, Jim, Ben and Bethany have Nature Journals Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Tuesday and Thursday Joe has biology and Jim astronomy, Ben and Bethany have science with me.  Gabe and Olivia played with various math manipulatives and did a little painting.
11:30-12:00   Balancing the Sword (Bible) > Joe and Jim.  The rest of us went downstairs and made lunch, set the table, put wood in the fire.
12:00- 2:30 Free Time!!! > Mama started some laundry, checked her email, had a cup of coffee, puttered about the house, the children went out, but then it began pouring down rain, so they came in to play, then it got sunny, so I sent them out and not 5 minutes later it was raining hard again, so they came in.  lol.
2:30-3:30 Quiet Time > EVERYONE lays down. No audio books, no lights on. F.O.B = Flat On Back.  It is wonderful.
3:30- 4:15 History > Joe and Jim.  Smaller children play when they wake up. Ben went out to ride bikes and chop down small trees. Mama reads to Olivia "You and Me Little Bear" for the 11th time today.
4:15-5:00 Bible Quiz > Joe and Jim study time. Bethany and Olivia watched a movie. Gabe went out to join Ben.  After that, adding Joe and Jim, their play turned into the usual battle For Narnia!, swords drawn.
6:00 Dinner > Rose is the dinner cook, except on Mondays. After dinner, Jim does the dishes, Joe sweeps the floor, Mama milks the goats, daddy reads to or plays with the littles.
8:00pm Story time > We are currently reading Dragonquest, by Donita K. Paul.  We read the first book, Dragonspell, this summer, and even though I am not a fantasy fan, it was a great book full of analogy to the Christian life, making for good discussion with the older children.  The children loved it and begged for more.
After story time, it is off to the land of Nod.

I love love love the routine of the school year, 
the sameness of each day, 
being together all day, 
seeing the delight of discovery on the children's faces while learning,
 having to drag them away from the school table for lunch, 
and that big contented sigh at the end of the day that says, "yes, this is what I was made for."  


  1. Sounds to me you have a well organized schedule. Im striving to get on one for our family but it is taking me some time! I love the ball seat for the one with energy! I have one who that would work for maybe? Thanks for sharing your alls family life and school schedule.Hope you all have a wonderful week !

  2. Julianne, glad to see you all are getting into a school rhythm. Hoping all are well, saying prayers for Brian as I have for some reason thought often of him this summer.

    Wishing you all the many blessings that Christ can bestow .
    Tina H

  3. Thank you for sharing this!!! Love hearing about others! You have a beautiful home and family!!


  4. Just looked up Balancing the Sword.....looks great! What ages would you recommend it for?

  5. Anonymous,
    I started Jim using Balancing the Sword last year when he was 11. Previously, we had only used it with the high schoolers, but Jim is doing fine with it.

  6. Dear Tina
    Thank you for your prayers for Brian, I count that as very precious indeed!

  7. This was so good! I too love hearing about how others are schooling and what they use. Do you have any struggling learners and if so, how do you approach teaching them?
    Thank you so much for sharing your family with us. I especially love how I can feel the gentleness in your words and actions.

  8. Dear Kristin,
    I am on my third slow to go student, and it is really exasperating at times, especially when I lose focus on what is REALLY important. I have a 9 year old that is barely reading, last year we worked through the phonics book for the second time, and we are picking it up again, our third time. The first time I actually quit because I could see he was not ready. I really thought he would get it last year, so we were consistent. Maybe this is the year though. It is like discipline, we just keep doing the right thing and one day it will take.

  9. Julianne,
    Thank you! I have a 10 year old boy who is struggling so much in some areas. Especially with math and phonics/spelling. I know he is not at grade level. And I don't care about labels...I just need to hear from other mamas who are further along the homeschooling experience path. He is a good reader, but needs so much time to work through his lessons and needs lots of repeating. He's a very hard working, sweet, and articulate child who loves nature and being outside. He is a joy. I want to give him that space and time, after all, this is why we do this. But at the same time...I sometimes do feel a little worried/anxious when I start to doubt our abilities, his and mine. Thank you again! I feel better knowing you have this too and that since you have older all does eventually click!


Your comments and input are very much appreciate
- Blessings!

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